Alva Review-Courier -

Alva schools to offer all-day pre-K


Jane McDermott reads the oath of office.

In brain-storming discussions over how to improve education scores in Alva, the administration and teachers have been hoping to offer all day pre-kindergarten classes to students in the Alva district. Superintendent Steve Parkhurst explained that no student has to take pre-K, but it will be available full-day or half-day to interested parents. He said that once a student turns five years of age, then they must enroll in kindergarten. While the administration believes that nearly all parents will opt for full-day pre-K classes, a letter had been submitted by one parent objecting to the idea of full day pre-K.

Parkhurst said the district would be willing to work with any parent on a one-on-one basis to arrange half-day attendance for those so desiring. After lengthy questioning by board member Jane McDermott about in which building site pre-K will be offered, and asking if other classes will have to be moved out of Washington School, Parkhurst and Assistant Superintendent Tim Argo said they need to see enrollment numbers before all of those questions can be answered. A worst-case situation might be one pre-K class could be hosted at Longfellow School if more than three are needed. Board member Larry Parker made the motion to implement full-day pre-K and the motion passed unanimously.

With the school board election completed, incumbent Jane McDermott retains her seat, as she drew no opposition. She completed the oath of office, the loyalty oath and the confidentiality statement.

After each election, the school board has the job of reorganizing itself with officers. Tiffany Slater nominated Steve Ellis to remain as president. Karen Koehn nominated Jane McDermott to serve again as vice-president and Jane McDermott nominated Karen Koehn as deputy clerk. Each office position was voted upon separately and all were elected by unanimous vote.

In a brief financial report, Parkhurst said the district had collected 82 percent of the projected gross production tax revenues and, if things stay consistent, the district might hit 111 percent of projections.

Parkhurst also announced that the district was successful in appealing and avoiding two years' worth of penalties from the State Board of Education for permitting too much carry-over. Right now, the district has a general fund balance of $8,919,458.09, a coop-fund balance of $124,193.69, a building fund balance of $1,942,950.11, a nutrition fund blanacne of $132,568.74 and a sinking fund balance of $333,365.42.

Board member Larry Parker asked the superintendent when the additional work was going to be begin on completing the practice facility. Both Parkhurst and Parker conceded they had been driving by every day and had seen nothing going on. The superintendent said, "Any day now."

Food Service

The superintendent of the district is investigating contracting food service to an outside firm. He said the biggest concern would be the impact on existing food service employees, although he believed they would be welcome to apply for jobs with the contracting firm if they wished. He said lunch and à la carte purchases are down, while breakfast participation is up.


Two letters of resignation were reported to the board. Tracy Shiever is resigning to move to Lomega with her husband. She will be an elementary counselor and reading teacher at that school. Bailey Zehr sent a letter resigning from her extra-duty position as Alva Middle School softball coach. She has held the job for two years.

The board approved a request by the Alva High FFA to take students and school vehicles to judging competition in Ft. Scott, Kansas, and in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Parkhurst gave a brief run-down on legislation being considered at the State Capitol. He said one proposal would allow a district employee to have a second degree of affinity to a school board member instead of a third. He said there was a lot of school consolidation talk, and many bills regarding teacher pay raises.

"It is too early yet to figure out what is going to make it into law," he said.


Reader Comments


Our Family of Publications Includes:

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019